Keep Rollin’ | Important Elements of the Roll Technique in Boxing

One of the most common movement skills we teach here at Gloveworx is the roll, also known as the bob and weave. It is an evasive maneuver that’s frequently used to avoid a hook, and it is most commonly performed after throwing a right hand. While the movement pattern is common at Gloveworx, and it’s a foundational move in boxing, it’s not the easiest movement to execute.

The boxing roll can be difficult to understand for both veterans and newcomers, and it’s a challenge to link into common combos used on the mitts. Even though most of us are not training to fight, it’s still important to understand why the roll is common in boxing, as well as how to apply it with the combos you throw while working on the mitts. Learn more about how to bob and weave like a pro from our Gloveworx coaches.

Why You Need to Roll in Boxing

The key to executing the roll is understanding what you want to do before and after the movement—and just as importantly—why you are learning to roll. The goal of the roll is to avoid a hook and immediately come back with a right hand or a combo of punches that begins with the right hand.

The roll takes you from a defensive position to an offensive position that allows you to start putting pressure back on your opponent. The reason you want to start your combo with a straight right hand is because that is where your opponent is most vulnerable after throwing a hook. Now that you understand why it’s important, you need to learn to move in a way that’s efficient in avoiding a hook and setting up a good position to throw a straight right hand.

Key Components of the Boxing Roll

Let’s start with the coaching cues. The sink and shift is a cue that coaches commonly use when teaching students how to perform the bob and weave. Once you’ve thrown your right hand, you need to sink your hips (using a hip hinge, not bending at the lumbar spine) to get under the oncoming hook and shift your weight toward the oncoming punch to reposition yourself to throw a counter punch.

The area where we see the most common problems is when it comes time to shift the weight to reposition the body. We see contenders sink their hips without shifting their weight to reposition themselves, and it leaves them in an awkward position, without an angle to throw another punch of the same caliber as their first straight right hand.

Fixing Your Position

The key to remedying this imbalance is to take a step to the outside of your opponent after you sink your hips, and reset the right side of your body, so that your right shoulder and hip are back in their original position and ready to fire again.

Getting the Boxing Roll Down

The roll is designed to put you back into position to return a punch after your opponent swings at the air. Although the position at the end is the most important part for returning fire, each part of the movement is affected by the movement preceding it. To this end, to roll efficiently in boxing, you have to be smooth and link it all together.

Want to start rollin’? Come work with the coaches at Gloveworx!

See you in the ring.